Thursday, July 24, 2014


Transmission

Monica Bellucci: On Location, But Where?

President Milorad Dodik (left), actress Monica Bellucci (center), and Serbian film director Emir Kusturica meet to face the press in Banja Luka on January 19.
President Milorad Dodik (left), actress Monica Bellucci (center), and Serbian film director Emir Kusturica meet to face the press in Banja Luka on January 19.
Italian actress Monica Bellucci, the star of an upcoming film by renowned film director Emir Kusturica, says she's excited. She's excited to play a Serb, excited to act in the Serbian language, and excited simply to physically be in Serbia.

"It's my first time," the actress enthused this weekend to a crowd of Balkan journalists.

There was just one problem. Bellucci wasn't in Serbia, but in Republika Srpska -- the largely autonomous Serbian entity that is part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Some outsiders might forgive Bellucci for confusing the two.

The Serb Republic, a cantankerous component of ethnically mixed Bosnia, has consistently looked to Serbia as its cultural and ethnic homeland. Its irascible president, Milorad Dodik, has frequently threatened to pursue a full secession from Bosnia and recently ruffled feathers in Belgrade by offering to resettle Kosovo Serbs on his territory.

But Bellucci's geographical gaffe still sent a brief ripple through the politically sensitive audience.

Kusturica -- himself a Bosnian Serb and a close acquaintance of Dodik's -- quickly corrected the actress. Bellucci, who had already softened the Banja Luka crowd with praise for their "very charming" president, hastily apologized, then departed for the real Serbia, where she and Kusturica were attending the Kuestendorf film festival.

The shooting of the new Kusturica film, called "Love and War," is set to begin in Trebinje -- that's in Republika Srpska -- in May. Kusturica, who twice took home the Palme d'Or for "Underground" and "When Father Was Away on Business," has suggested he may play the male lead against Bellucci.

-- Daisy Sindelar
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by: asdf
January 21, 2013 22:07
FYI, Kusturica was born a Muslim. Hence the name "Emir". He says that his ancestors decided to take the Islamic faith 500 years ago, and that he's actually a Serb.
In Response

by: Frank
January 22, 2013 09:40
The above piece is pretty rich, given that some prior RFE/RL material has referred to Kosovo as a nation.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 22, 2013 10:35
LOL,Kusturica`s ancestors decided to convert to Islam by their own free will,didnt they? The peaceful loving mooselem doves who came to the region-quite peacefully,of course gave the locals the choice between Islam and leaving this wicked world for good,and most people chose Islam-the religion of Universal peace,love and understanding.And now the bloody christians forced the poor man to become a christian again,and its a crying shame for NATO and the hillarious woman who didnt move a finger to defend the mooselems from the serb infidels!!!
In Response

by: Nash from: Boston
January 22, 2013 13:07
He was actually born as a baby...... :-) and his ancestors probably where forcefully converted to Islam....
This might be other interpretation of the facts, is it?

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 22, 2013 09:01
Depardieu went to Russia, Monica Belucci - to the Republika Srpska. It looks like the talent-drain is starting to seriously undermine the future prospects of the French film industry.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 22, 2013 10:43
AAh,Jack went from SU-Soviet Union to the USA,Vakhtang went from Free Georgia-that is Abkhazia to Mosscow,and Eugenia went from nowhere to Austria,and is going now to Noth Korea,seriously underminingthe future prospects of the russian porn industry.The poor Vienna thing cant make a difference between the francochone drunkard and Belucci who is Italian.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 23, 2013 08:23
FYI, Camel, Monica Belucci has been living in France for more than 20 years already and made some 90 per cent of her films in France as well. She is married to a French film actor Vincent Cassel (known for his parts in such French movies as, for example, "La Haine" (1995) or "L'enemi public No 1" (2007-2008)). Monica Belucci has a French nationality as well, what else do you need to make her French?
Cheers from Vienna, Camel :-)!

by: Milan Knez from: Canada
January 25, 2013 01:20
Actually the writer of this article got something wrong too. Bosnia is a majority Christian state. 35% Christian Orthodox, 13 % Catholic,
1% Protestant and 2% other denominations for a total of 51%.
In Response

by: Moderator from: Prague
January 25, 2013 08:11
Milan, thanks for the catch. Bosnian Muslims, who make up 45 percent of the population, are the single-largest ethnic group but don't constitute a majority.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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